High Blood Pressure: treating the cause, not the numbers

Your blood pressure medication does nothing for the rigidity and muscle spasms of the wall of your arteries that triggers High Blood Pressure. This is why…

Blood pressure lowering does not reduce risk of cardiovascular events in patients at intermediate risk

BMJ 2016; 353 :i1899

Drugs only shut off said spasms and tell the kidneys to go easy on the water volume of blood. Both of these mechanisms DO lower blood pressure, but, they do not prevent the consequences of hypertension, such as heart attacks.

What are the roots of high blood pressure? In Medical School I was taught we didn’t know the answer to that question, which is why we called the problem “Essential Hypertension,” instead of acknowledging we were clueless. But, in 2016 we do know what causes arterial loss of elasticity: poor diets, pollutants and stress. This is a huge problem given that Hypertension afflicts more than 90% of people as they get to be a certain age.

Diets lacking in nutrients cause Inflammation and Oxidation of the lining cells of our arteries; they are called the Endothelium. Many consider this lining an organ in and of itself. When it gets inflamed and oxidized the walls of arteries go into spasms and lose their flexibility. Since drugs do not address this endothelial injury you are still at risk of a heart attack if you don’t change your diet to avoid those problems.

Here is an article proving this point,

Lean Seafood Intake Reduces Postprandial C-peptide and Lactate Concentrations in Healthy Adults in a Randomized Controlled Trial with a Crossover Design
J. Nutr. 2016 146: 1027

The Nitric Oxide mechanism of the endothelium keeps arterial walls flexible. The amino acid L-arginine and B vitamins fuel this mechanism. This is why nitrate rich diets lower blood pressure

Nitrate-Rich Vegetables Increase Plasma Nitrate and Nitrite Concentrations and Lower Blood Pressure in Healthy Adults
J. Nutr.
2016 146: 986 (Ingestion of nitrate-rich beetroot juice, rocket salad beverage, and spinach beverage effectively increases plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations and lowers blood pressure to a greater extent than sodium nitrate.) This is also the case with fruit consumption (NEJM April 7th 2016)

After the 1998 Nobel Prize was awarded for the issue noted above, Pfizer created Viagra, which was first intended to be a blood pressure drug.

If you eat a lot of vegetables you get good amounts of Magnesium, other minerals like Calcium and COQ10. In combination these minerals keep the arterial wall muscles well toned. Adding Omega oils and Turmeric tea is also very helpful. Those who like herbs reach for Hawthorne berry.

Long-term magnesium supplementation improves arterial stiffness in overweight and obese adults: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial
Am J Clin Nutr 2016 103: 1260

Stress, and Pollutants like heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and even air pollution also add to endothelial injury. And to injury to the Mitochondria where all cells, especially muscles, get their Energy to keep muscles toned. Toxins in the environment also cause Inflammation and Oxidation. All of this is made worse by emotional stress, especially Loneliness.

You may say that our blood vessels TOIL, which leads to Hypertension:

T for Toxicity

O for Oxidation

I for Inflammation

L for less than optimal Mitochondrial function

L for Loneliness and Lack of Love.

But, make no mistake: the most important way to control your blood pressure is to lose weight, exercise an hour a day, and eat lots of veggies.

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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